The University of Minnesota's interim athletic director paid a visit to Gopher football practice Saturday, one day after taking over the position when Norwood Teague abruptly resigned.
Beth Goetz, who had been deputy athletics director since March 2013, said she wants to keep the attention on Gopher sports programs and try to quickly move past the Teague controversy.
"The priority (Saturday) and every day is about our student-athletes, our coaches and our teams, so that's what our role is and always has been," she said, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "That's where we want to keep the focus."
Teague resigned suddenly Friday after admitting he groped two female university employees at an event a few weeks ago, and sent them text messages that were lewd and sexually explicit. Goetz was named to the interim position while a national search begins to find a permanent replacement.
Goetz chatted with many people at the practice, including coach Jerry Kill, team members, employees and boosters, according to the Star Tribune, which also noted that Teague only rarely came to football practice.
The newspaper's sports columnist Sid Hartman said the relationship between Kill and Teague was so strained that they sometimes went weeks without speaking to each other.
So far, Goetz and Kill have said nice things about each other.
“Coach is so giving of his time that from the minute I got here [in March 2013], I’ve gotten to spend some time with him," Goetz said of Kill, according to the Star Tribune. "He’s a guy that you know he’s doing things the right way."
Kill said: “Beth will do a good job. ... I’ve got all the confidence in the world."
Kill's main point of contact will still be Dan O'Brien, the senior associate athletic director who oversees the football program, the Pioneer Press notes.
Teague's resignation may have more impact on the university's fundraising efforts for its proposed $190 million athletics training complex. Under Teague's leadership, the school has raised about $70 million so far. The school had hoped to break ground on the project this fall, but it has yet to be formally approved by the U's Board of Regents.
Goetz was asked about the facilities project and said she's spoken with U of M President Eric Kaler about it.
"He’s assured us, hey, we are doing this project," she said, according to the Star Tribune. "We’re really confident that there’s not going to be any bumps in the road.”
Before Goetz arrived at the U of M, she was a senior official in the athletics department at Butler University in Indianapolis for five years. Former men's basketball coach Brad Stevens speaks highly of her performance at the school, the Pioneer Press reports.